The 5th Regional Food Science and Technology Summit (ReFoSTS 2019) of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (WESTERN CHAPTER) took place in Ilorin at Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NISPRI), Km 3, Asa Dam Road, Ilorin, Kwara State. The conference with the Theme ‘Novelty in Food Science and Technology: A Road Map to Food Security and Sustainability’ drew over 250 participants from different zones within the chapter which included delegates from Tertiary institutions, Government Ministries/Agencies, Industries, Research Institutes, the press and the general public across the nation. The conference was declared opened by the Chairman, Prof. M.O. Ologunde, the Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso in the presence of many dignitaries including the Director of hosting Institute (NISPRI), in person of Dr (Mrs) P. O. Pessu, NIFST Fellows, Western Chapter executives and representatives from National body of NIFST. Two workshop sessions with Prof. B.A. Akinwande and Prof. Ganiyu Oboh as speakers while the keynote address was delivered by Mrs Oluwayemisi Iranloye, Managing Director, Psaltry International Ltd, Ado-Awaye, Oyo State. Four technical sessions, exhibitions and election of new officers to run the affairs of the Chapter for the next two years at the AGM also took place.
OBSERVATIONS: The following observations were made:
- An estimated population of about 870 million people around the world, out of which 850 million are from developing countries like Nigeria, are malnourished.
- There are many developmental challenges confronting us as a nation, of which the major problem is extreme poverty leading to hunger and food insecurity.
- Food security is vital to nations both developing and developed countries.
- Innovations in Food Science and Technology are a potential road map in tackling the problem of food insecurity in the nation.
- The Innovations in Food Science and Technology has become a plan or strategy intended to ameliorate the pressing and urgent issue of food security.
RECOMMENDATIONS: As a result of these observations the conference made the following recommendations:
- Food Scientists and Technologists must wake up to their professional callings and make their relevance known in the nation for adequate solutions to the problem of food insecurity through innovations.
- Government intervention is highly needed to discourage farmers from using indigenous farming techniques, but rather use modern tools in order to boost food production.
- Adoption of Agricultural Biotechnology which is scientifically advanced in using genetically modified crops and plants to produce nutritious food should be encouraged.
- Nurturing young people’s career especially women in agriculture is much needed for effective, efficient and sustainable food production system and safeguarding long-term food security.
- Government agencies like NAFDAC should rise up to give maximum support to small scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) for easy registration and certification of their products.
Dr O.A. Abiodun
Chairman Communiqué Drafting Committee